Champagne is synonymous with celebration, and nothing says New Year’s quite like popping a bottle of bubbly. Throughout the year it might be seen as slightly snobbish, but on December 31 Champagne becomes holiday revelers’ drink of choice in countries all over the world. It seems that simply letting those bubbles fly sets the tone for a festive celebration, but what do you actually know about this fizzy favorite? Here are 19 fun facts about Champagne you likely never knew.
1. There are about 49 million bubbles in a 7500ml bottle of Champagne.
2. A standard-sized glass emits 30 bubbles every second.
3. France has the largest Champagne market (of course). The French consume 162.5 million bottles every year, or about 52 percent of the entire world production of Champagne.
4. Champagne has 3 times more carbonation than beer.
5. The pressure in a Champagne bottle is about 3 times the amount of pressure of a car tires.
6. Because of this high-flying pressure, you’re more likely to die from a Champagne-related incident than from a poisonous spider bite — and nearly a third of Champagne deaths occur at weddings, so watch out come toast time!
7. When popped, a Champagne cork can reach a velocity of 24.8 miles per hour.
8. The longest recorded cork flight was 177 feet and 9 inches.
9. Marilyn Monroe famously took a bath in Champagne. More than 350 bottles were needed to fill up the tub.
10. About 28,000 bottles of champagne are served at Wimbledon every year.
11. James Bond has been spotted drinking Champagne more than 35 times in his films. It’s the drink he reaches for more than any other. And when it comes to labels, Bond prefers Bollingers. The brand has specifically been shown in 14 of his flicks.
12. If you’re drinking good Champagne, you’ll be able to see the “collerette.” This refers to the bubble trains traveling up the sides of the glass.
13. The first glass of Champagne has the most bubbles, meaning the first glass will also get you feeling drunk the fastest. Every glass thereafter poured from that bottle will be more potent than the one that follows.
14. Hip-hop and R&B concert goers are 94 percent more likely to drink Champagne than the average person.
15. Winston Churchill was one of the biggest Champagne drinkers on record. Between 1908 and 1965 he drank an estimated 42,000 bottles. Pol Roger even made him a special one pint bottle that was served to him every day at precisely 11 a.m.
16. It must be a British thing, because Queen Victoria’s drink of choice was also Champagne, specifically Perrier-Jouet.
17. For a long time, Champagne was seen as dangerous because bottles had a tendency to explode. In the 19th century, Champagne makers wore metal masts to protect their faces when handling bottles. Eventually, stronger glass bottles and metal clasp closures made the stuff more stable.
18. The U.K is actually high on the list of Champagne consumption. The United Kingdom ranks in 4th place with 0.45 liters per person — behind only Switzerland, Belgium and France.
19. The most expensive bottle of wine costs $2.07 million. It was designed by Alexander Amosu and Swarovski, handcrafted from 18-carat solid gold, with a deep-cut 19-carat white diamond at its center. It was mostly the bottle that caused the hefty price tag. Only a few were ever made, making it a rare and valuable collectors edition.
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